The birch tree is a deciduous tree that is part of the betulaceae family. Birch trees are sensitive to harsh weather and only live approximately 20 years. During their lifetimes, they provide food for many creatures.
Birds like the wild turkey and Carolina chickadee eat the seeds from the river birch. White tail deer consume the twigs and foliage, while beavers chew the bark. Seedlings of river birch trees are part of a wild rabbit’s diet. The ruby-throated hummingbird, squirrels and yellow-bellied sapsucker ingest the sap from the tree. Birch borers feed on the insides of the birch tree.
Beavers damage the tree’s trunk by gnawing on the bark of the river birch. Wild rabbits prevent saplings from developing. The yellow-bellied sapsucker drills holes into the bark of the river birch tree to retrieve sap. Birch borers lay eggs inside birch trees, these pests create holes internally and eat the tree from the inside, killing it.
Most wild animals cause little damage to the birch and are left alone. June is the time to prevent the birch borer from infesting the birch tree. Using appropriate insecticides every three weeks will kill the birch borer, according to the University of North Dakota Extension.